The following is an excerpt of Hindsight: And All the Things I Can’t See in Front of Me, the forthcoming book written by Justin Timberlake. In the excerpt, Timberlake reflects on his marriage to actress Jessica Biel. The book publishes on Oct. 30, and is available for pre-order.
I wrote the song “mirrors” for my wife. We were living together at the time. We weren’t engaged yet. In fact, it was years before I proposed.
The song didn’t come out until just before we got married, years later. The video became a dedication to my grandparents. I learned about long-lasting love from them.
I know that’s what I have with my wife.
When I met Jess, it was undeniable how beautiful she is. We were at a surprise party in Hollywood at a speakeasy kind of a bar, a private club, and we were standing around in a group of people. I made some sort of sarcastic comment, really dry. Nobody got it except her. She laughed, and I noticed, all of a sudden, and in the way where you wonder if a person’s like you, if they have a very dry, dark sense of humor, too.
We talked that night. The DJ played “Lucky Star,” and we danced. And then she was gone.
I didn’t ask for her number. It wasn’t the time. But I was thinking about her. Thoughts kept leaping into my mind: I’m kind of really interested in that girl. There was just something about that girl. Kind of interested in that girl. Goddamn it.
I had to psych myself up. I had to remind myself that I was me—giving myself a pep talk, shadowboxing with myself, rubbing my own shoulders.
Time went by.
My first show for the FutureSex/LoveSounds tour was in San Diego. A friend who also knew Jess was going to come to the show, and she asked me, “What if I was to bring a certain somebody?”
I said, “I could be into that.” Patience may not be my strong suit but, apparently, playing coy is.
My friend brought her to the show. They were with a whole crew of girls, and they all came into the dressing room and hung out. After the show, they were going to go back to LA, and I was going on to Anaheim.
I asked them if they wanted to come with me. “I’ll give you a ride, you can come on my bus. If you want . . . ”
And they did. Jess and I talked the whole way up, joking around. Before she got off the tour bus, I said, “Can I have your number?”
That was when we started talking on the phone. We didn’t date at first. For about two weeks, we talked on the phone, because I was on tour.
We’ve had a lot of unforgettable times. She’s become a huge influence on my life, and I have such admiration for her, especially seeing her as a mother now. But I had admiration for her before. She’s a very good writer. She’s a poet. She’s a tremendous actor. She’s funny. Very funny. And she’s one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. So, could finding someone who covers for your shortcomings be a thing that plays well for relationships?
She changed me. She changed my life. All of that is in “Mirrors.” Not the details. But the way it felt to have my life be touched by her.